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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mahindra face Al Nejmeh in AFC Cup quarters

Mahindra face Al Nejmeh in AFC Cup quarters

June 14, 2007 15:14 IST

Mumbai outfit Mahindra United will take on Lebanon's Al Nejmeh in the AFC Cup quarter-finals, to be played over two legs, in September.

Mahindra, only the second Indian team to make it to the last eight of the continental competition after East Bengal in 2004, will host the Lebanese team on September 18 before playing the away leg a week later, according to the knock-out stage draw, made in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Two-time defending champions Al Faisaly of Jordan face Tampines Rovers of Singapore in their quarter-final.

Jordan's Shabab Al Ordun and Singapore Armed Forces will fight out another last eight match-up, while Al Wihdat (Jordan) will take on Sun Hei of Hong Kong.

If Mahindra make it to the last four, they will meet either Shabab Al Ordun or Singapore Armed Forces in the semi-finals, on October 2 and 23.

Derrick Pereira's team had beaten Singapore Armed Forces 2-0 in an away match in the group stage but lost by a solitary goal in the home leg in Goa.

The final will be played over two legs on November 2 and 9.

Nejmeh, however, suffered a bitter setback when two of their key players were killed in a bomb blast that rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing 10 people.

Defender Hussein Dokmak, 25, and playmaker Hussein Neim, 20, were driving back home after a friendly game when the blast ripped through their car. Both were killed on the spot.

Dokmak played for the first team while Neim was promoted at the beginning of the season from the youth to the first team.

Dokmak last played for the club in the AFC Cup group game against Oman's Muscat club on May 8 which the Lebanese outfit won to qualify for the last eight. Neim was on the bench for the game.

On the other hand, Mahindra, who have lost out on manager Henry Menezes as he has joined the Essel group, have seen several stalwarts like Mahesh Gawli, S Venkatesh, Samson Singh, N S Manju, Peter Siddiqui, Surkumar Singh and James Singh leave the club.

They have tried to compensate the loss by procuring the services of Thoi Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Harpreet Singh, Sunil Kumar, Surajit Bose, D Ravanan, Manas Das, Goutam Debnath and Sushil Kumar Singh.

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